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dipping a tortilla chip into a bowl of dairy-free cashew queso

Green Chile Cashew Queso Recipe (Nut-Free Option)

This green chile cashew queso recipe is the dairy-free queso you've been missing. It has some key spices and ingredients to mimic traditional queso flavors. And thanks to the cashews, you're left with the creamiest dip.
5 from 2 votes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Author: Lindsey Jenkins


  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste or half the amount to start if not using diamond crystal kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cans mild diced green chiles + their juice each can should be 4 oz


  • Cover the cashews with boiling water and let them soak for 20 minutes to soften.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews well before adding to a blender with fresh water, nutritional yeast, salt, smoked paprika, tomato paste, lemon juice and the chile juice from both cans (set the diced green chiles aside for now).
  • Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Add more water as needed, taste, and adjust the salt. Once completely smooth, pour into a serving bowl and stir in the diced green chiles.
  • Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use.


  • you may need to soak your cashews longer if your blender isn't very powerful.
  • No cashews? ➝ you can use blanched almonds or raw macadamia nuts for a neutral-flavored base
  • Prefer spicy queso? ➝ use hot green chiles instead
  • No diced green chiles? ➝ sub jarred jalapeño slices, sautéed bell peppers, fire roasted tomatoes, etc.
  • Nut-free? ➝ use sunflower seeds, just make sure to soak them in boiling water for 30 minutes and then drain and rinse them really well before blending. You'll also want to add a tiny pinch of sugar when blending since they taste slightly more bitter than cashews